Falcons Defeat Eagles in Thriller
March 2, 2011
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - Senior Brittany Dutton recorded a career-best matching score of 9.825 to win the floor exercise and secure the Air Force women's gymnastics team a 190.200-189.675 victory over Eastern Michigan on Wednesday, March 2, at the Academy's Cadet West Gym. Dutton was one of three event winners for the Falcons, who surpassed the 190-point mark for the fourth time this season.
The outcome of the meet, which saw the lead change after each rotation, came down to the final competitor, although the Falcons accounted for three first-place scores. With the win, Air Force improved to 2-1 at home and 3-4 in dual meet competitions.
Dutton was one of five Falcons to finish within the top six on the floor exercise, as the Falcons closed the gap with the Eagles on the final rotation. Freshman Jen Larsen scored a 9.600 to place third, while junior Samantha Jones finished fourth with a score of 9.575. Freshmen Katie Hawthorne and Linnaea Hance finished fifth (9.550) and sixth (9.425), respectively.
The Falcons also put up big scores on the uneven bars, accounting for five of the top six spots in that event, as well. Hawthorne scored a career-high 9.725 to win the bars for the second straight week, while Jones tied for second at 9.700. Larsen and Hance finished third (9.675) and fourth (9.650), respectively, while classmate Jessica Hanner tied for sixth with a mark of 9.550.
Senior Lisa Wong won the balance beam with a personal-high mark of 9.750. Sophomore Tara Harris and Hance were the only other Falcons to place within the top half of the field. Harris scored a 9.600 to tie for fifth, while Hance placed sixth with a 9.250.
Dutton was also the program's top finisher on the vault, scoring a 9.650 to tie for third. Wong placed fourth at 9.475, while senior Holland Davis returned to the lineup with a fifth-place mark of 9.450. Hance, the night's only all-around competitor (37.650), finished sixth at 9.325.
The two programs return to Cadet West Gym on Saturday, March 5, for another dual meet. Action begins at 6 p.m. Following the meet, Air Force will honor its three senior gymnasts - Davis, Dutton and Wong, as well as its senior manager, Ashley Green.